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Orbit: Writing Around Pynchon
85 Publications


  • Gothic Traces in the Metaphysical Detective Story: The Female Sleuth in Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49 and Gibson’s Pattern Recognition

    Sweeney, Susan Elizabeth (2016)
    This essay argues that William Gibson’s novel Pattern Recognition (the first volume of his Blue Ant Trilogy) borrows from Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49 as regards plot, character, narration, structure, imagery, and theme, even as it transforms these elements to reflect a post-9/11 world. The essay particularly focuses, however, on the fear and anxiety experienced by the protagonists, Pynchon’s Oedipa Maas and Gibson’s Cayce Pollard, who are among the very few female sleuths to appear in post...

    The Hyperobject's Atomization of "Self" in Gravity's Rainbow

    Martinson, T.J. (2015)
    This article further inspects the Rocket and Schwarzgerät at the center of Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow (1974). Though scholars commonly employ the Rocket as a metaphor and symbol by which they analyze plot and characters, I inverse this approach to see what the plot and characters can reveal about the Rocket qua Rocket. Drawing from Object-Oriented Ontology—specifically Timothy Morton’s concept of the “hyperobject,” or an entity that is dispersed through time and space—I claim that the...

    “On Deleuze and Guattari’s Italian Wedding Fake Book: Pynchon, Improvisation, Social Organisation, and Assemblage”

    Gazi, Jeeshan (2016)
    This article examines Pynchon’s literary invention of Deleuze and Guattari’s Italian Wedding Fake Book. Featured in his novel Vineland (1990), previous scholarship has either dismissed the reference as a throwaway joke or argued that Pynchon’s invocation of the philosophers is intended to point us towards the author’s engagement with Anti-Oedipus (1972). Following Charles Hollander’s argument that Pynchon’s jokes indicate important themes in his texts, this article looks beyond the reference ...

    A Phenomenology of the Present: Toward a Digital Understanding of Gravity’s Rainbow

    Letzler, David (2016)
    This essay presents the results produced by the application of three corpus analysis tools to Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow: word frequency/keyness analysis, social network analysis, and topic modeling. It uses these data to argue that the novel is peculiarly concerned with the concept of the present moment. Engaging along the way traditional arguments about the nature of the book’s Romanticism and its sense of “connectedness,” the essay demonstrates how distant reading can aid us in per...

    ’Freud is finished, Einstein’s next’: Don DeLillo’s Cosmopolis, Chaos Theory, and Quantum Entanglement

    Alberts, Crystal (2016)
    This essay argues that, in 'Cosmopolis', DeLillo returns to mathematical topics and formal structures, like those presented in Ratner's Star, and expands them to reflect more recent developments in science and technology to contemplate time—the subject that permeates many of his twenty first century novels—and to highlight, variously, the unpredictable, uncertain, interconnected, and illusory nature of the contemporary world. Written in between the dot-com bubble burst and the aftermath of Se...
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